Latest on the Blues, Oilers & Senators – May 9, 2017
Suggested offseason moves for the St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators plus the latest Jordan Eberle trade speculation in your NHL rumor mill.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Elliotte Friedman speculating on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 over struggling winger Jordan Eberle’s future with the Edmonton Oilers. He thinks they could revisit efforts this summer to move Eberle. He wonders if there’s a possible deal to be had with the Vegas Golden Knights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman noted the Oilers encountered in their previous attempts at moving Eberle. While the 26-year-old winger netted a respectable 20 goals and 51 points in 82 games this season, he has only two points 12 playoff games this spring.
His contract, however, remains the biggest sticking point. He has two years left on his current deal at an annual salary of $6 million. Unless the Oilers are willing to add something as a sweetener or pick up part of his remaining salary, they probably won’t find many takers for Eberle in this summer’s trade market.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance believes the St. Louis Blues should sign defenseman Colton Parayko to a long-term contract extension, add speed at center and create room for the young up-and-coming players in their system.
Parayko is coming off his entry-level contract and has played well in his first two NHL campaigns. Custance suggests a deal comparable to Dallas Stars blueliner John Klingberg (seven years, $29.7 million, $4.25 million annual cap hit).
Addressing that need for speed at center might not be easy. The Blues have two first-round draft picks to use as trade bait but perhaps it’ll be best to save those picks and try to address that need through the draft. While the Blues have veteran depth, Custance suggests it might be worthwhile giving kids such as Ivan Barbashev, Jordan Schmaltz and Zach Sanford more playing time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parayko is the real deal on defense. He’s also their only significant free agent this summer. However, they also have over $68 million invested in 20 players. The expansion draft will free up a little more cap space, but they’ll need to shed another salary to re-sign Parayko to a Klingberg-type deal and still have sufficient space to shop for speed at center. He’s also eligible for arbitration, making it difficult for Blues management to convince him to accept a more affordable short-term bridge deal.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch recently suggested the Senators could use more grit in their roster and calls upon management to address that need in the offseason. He feels New York Rangers forward (and pending UFA) Tanner Glass would be a good addition, citing his skating and toughness plus he’s five years younger than 38-year-old Chris Neil.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Glass spent most of this season in the minors but he’s been solid since his recent call-up, with four points in six games and driving the Sens to distraction with his physical play. He’d also be affordable as he’s completing a three-year deal worth over $1.4 million annually.